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Gospel Opportunities

Colossians 4:5-6
Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (NIVUK)

How does the gospel spread?  How do unbelievers start to follow Jesus?  Most are attracted to Christ by the graciously potent behaviour of Christians, who speak about Jesus and answer their questions.  We are not alone.  Everywhere we go someone is watching and listening: but does what they see and hear attract them to Jesus?  These verses are a wake-up call: be alert to those around you!  Every encounter with an unbeliever is an opportunity to show the difference that Christ has made.  Make the most of it.  Where selfishness is expected, serve; where hard negotiations are expected, be generous; where lies are common, speak truth; where they do not know the way, point them to Jesus.  

Paul describes unbelievers as “outsiders”.  They are outside of the church of Jesus Christ because they have not received Him; they are not in His family; their sins are not forgiven; they are not heirs of eternal life with Him; they are not close to Him.  But the Colossian church had been brought near to God through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).  It was Paul’s ambition that they would transparently advertise their faith so that many more in that town would be stirred to enquire about Jesus.  And answer their questions. People will think about anything that is unusual, so a Spirit-filled Christ-centred life will attract attention: they will want to know what is making the difference.

It is hard enough to practice a gracious lifestyle, but for many it seems impossible to ‘season it with salt’.  What does that mean?  Salt preserves the good and purifies the bad.  A godly life needs to include gospel words.  One without the other is incomplete.  To show people what it is like to have Jesus in your life, but not explain how He can be in theirs is careless at best and cruel at worst.  That is why it is essential to explain that the difference is all because of Jesus. 1 Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect ..."
Christians should be a 24/7, mobile, relational and inspirational advertisement of the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives.  Each new day is a day to recommend the Saviour of the world.  Every morning needs a conscious decision to be a good representative of your Lord.  Every day we should pray to be aware of the divine appointments He has made for us, and then we should be looking out for the people He wants us to meet.  Some, we may have known for a long time, but today could be the 'Jesus conversation'.  Others, we have never met before and will never see again, but the brief encounter might signal the start of their eternal life.  We will never know most of the people we have influenced.  But that is not important, as long as we can point to our Lord Jesus: after all it is not about us, but all about Him.  So, make the most of every opportunity, each day; and all its minutes to live like Jesus and speak for Jesus (Ephesians 5:16).  Be confident that the Holy Spirit will enable you to answer their questions (Luke 12:11-12).


Wonderful Lord. Thank You for helping me to find Jesus Christ and thank You for the believers who lived Jesus-credible lives and explained the gospel to me. I am sorry that I often forget that I belong to You and that my life needs to be a good advertisement of Your transforming power. My mouth needs to have gospel words. Please help me to be much more alert to the effect of how I live and talk. May I be much more sensitive to Your Holy Spirit's leading so that I recognise the Divine appointments You have made for me, and be ready to answer questions about Jesus. In His Name I pray. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams